Replanting in the Garden

One way to harvest a great deal of food from a small space is to replant several sections of your garden in June, July and August.  My garden is only 300 square feet, which translates into 4 beds that are each 15 feet long.  In April I plant a bed with peas and a bed with salad greens, spinach, lettuce, beets, green onions, and endive.  In May I plant a bed with some beans and more of all the same salad vegetables.   Without replanting, that would leave me with only one bed for the rest of the summer.  Hard to imagine that I can grow enough to feed my family into November in that one bed. Hence the replanting, which I thought I would talk about in some detail.

If I look at the April beds around the first week of June, the peas are just flowering and will be in the garden for at least another few weeks.  But in the “salad bed”, the greens and the spinach have been finished for some time now.  The greens were dug under and the spinach plants pulled and put on the compost.  The remaining lettuce, beets, green onions and endive are all ready and somehave been harvested and others are still waiting.  This bed is perfect for planting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini in.  In the space that is wide open – where the spinach and greens were – it is easy to see how to replant this area.  Neither tomatoes nor peppers need a great deal of compost so the whole bed does not need to be composted.  It is enough to put a small shovelful with each individual plant.  The rest of the bed calls for what I call ’strategic harvesting and planting’.  Harvest your salad vegetables so that there are gaps between what is left in the garden.  So say you have a section of lettuce – harvest every second one.  The space that is made available between them, assuming they are 1 foot apart, is about 2 feet.  Perfect to fit a small cucumber plant where that lettuce was just taken from.  Use a hand shovel to work the area up and again, add some compost before you plant the seedling.  By the time those cucumbers start to grow and sprawl, the rest of the lettuce will have been harvested.  I do this with all of this section of my garden and fit my cucumbers and zucchini into my strategically harvested blank spaces.

There is still a fourth bed that is open and that I use to plant my June salad bed – lots of basil, some dill and coriander, some more beans, and the usual flat of lettuce, green onions, beets, endive, and fennel transplants.

I try to start a flat of what I call ’salad vegetables’ every month.  In July I will plant that flat in the area that the peas were growing in.  They are usually finished in my garden by mid July.  The advantage of starting your lettuces, etc. in flats is that if the peas are still producing, you can delay the transplanting for a week or two.  Finally, the bed that was planted in May with salad vegetables and beans can be replanted in early August with more salad vegetables, some salad greens, lots of spinach and some more herbs.

My last planting is in early September – I find a blank space and plant a 6-8 foot section of salad greens.  As long as they go in by the end of the first week of September here in southern Ontario, they will produce a long harvest that will often last into November or early December.  Lots of food from a very small space!

5 Responses to “Replanting in the Garden”

  1. Jenny says:

    Pretty good post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your posts. Any way
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

  2. Jo Neufeld says:

    Dear Janette, I could not find an email address for you, so I will just leave a comment here. My husband and I jumped into gardening this year with about 1600 square feet of space – and NO IDEA what to do :) We have had great help and advice from neighbors and community garden members, but have also experienced setbacks from unpredictable weather and pests :( I found your book today, and am finishing the February section. Oh how I wish we had found this information sooner! I love how everything is explained and laid out in sequential order, in easy to understand language for beginners like us :) I already know your book will make next year’s garden MUCH MORE successful. It was very encouraging to find your book just when we were feeling a bit downtrodden :) THANKS!!!!!

  3. it’s very effective to replant the garden after a first or second culture, you will obtain more production ,plus that you will have like 3 different looking gardens during the year. isn’t that interesting?Good post!

  4. LnddMiles says:

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  5. Janette says:

    Hi there, thank you for the wonderful email/comment. I hope you have had a great garden this year. Where are you gardening – here in Sydenham is pours almost every day so everything is lush and beautiful. 1600 square feet is pretty impressive, please let me know how it all turned out. All the best. Janette